Heritage Malta, the national agency for Malta’s cultural heritage, has recently acquired a letter written by Napoleon Bonaparte himself ordering one of his generals to invade Malta and Gozo.
Bonaparte was a prominent figure in Maltese history seeing as the French occupation of the islands only lasted two years and Napoleon’s stay just six days, yet the invasion radically reformed Malta’s government, society and culture.
“I fully support such acquisitions for our National Collection, for they stimulate research and debate. With this letter, Napoleon changed our entire course of history,” stated Minister for National Heritage, the Arts and Local Government, José Herrera.
An auction by the renowned auction house Sotheby’s was what saw Heritage Malta acquire Bonaparte’s decisive letter for the sum of €60,000.
It will be showcased for the general public inside the National Museum of Archaeology during the Public Service week later on this month.
The Maritime Museum’s senior curator, Liam Gauci, explained how this letter is significant to Maltese history because it “reveals young Bonaparte’s strategic military mind, as he gave detailed instructions to his General on how to invade the Maltese islands.”
Heritage Malta’s Executive Director, Mario Cutajar, also commented saying that, “Heritage Malta is proud to participate in the upcoming Public Service week.”